GST row: Traders meet CM, says no to new tax regime

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SRINAGAR: Traders and manufacturers in Kashmir had a meeting with Chief Minister Ms Mehbooba Mufti. They said they have conveyed her that the new regime violates the fiscal autonomy of the state, J&K should stay from it.

“We were categorical that the GST regime erodes the financial autonomy of the state so we are completely against this,” Mushtaq Ahmad Wani, the President of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry said. “She assured us that if the new tax system comprises fiscal autonomy of the state, we will not do it.”

Wani said the delegation was invited from across the businesses, the trade, services and the manufacturing sector. “We put our point of view before her,” he said. He said the new tax system compromises Art 370. “We told the Chief Minister that the state can not barter into autonomy for a gain of Rs 1500 crore a year,” Wani added.

They told the Chief Minister that VAT was better because the state had the flexibility of altering the tariffs. “In GST it is the Council that has to do it and it will be reviewed after five years,” Wani said.

The delegation also regretted that the Commercial taxes department is seeking them to register for GST when the state lacks a law. “Chief Minister assured us that she will be talking to the concerned,” Wani said. “How can government seek registration under a la that does not exist right now?”

J&K government has called for a brief session of the state assembly on June 17 to legislate a piece of legislation on GST, the only state in India that is doing it. Prior to the session, the government is also mulling an all party meeting on the issue.

Wani part, others who attended the meeting included Mohammad Yasin Khan, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Mushtaq Chaya, Javed Burza and many others.

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